Our Program is a hybrid program

One of the unique aspects of our program is the hybrid nature of it.  Our students will spend the first year of the program on campus in Terre Haute, Indiana with course work generally 5 days per week.  Starting in the summer and continuing through the second year courses shift to be entirely online.  During this time, students will spend 3 days per week in clinic (See Clinical Rotations) and complete most course work at their own pace from wherever in the country they are.  

Standard Curriculum Information

The curriculum for the master's degree consists of 62 credit hours of didactic courses in the areas of human genetics, public health, research methodology, bioethics, counseling techniques, diversity, and decision-making. The curriculum reflects the field of genetic counseling by integrating the science of genetics and genomics with counseling and communication skills. In this way we can foster the development of effective genetic counselors in diverse clinical settings. Some of the courses such as the cancer genetics, diagnostic genetics, and embryology have associated laboratory components to compliment the didactic sessions. See below for more information on each course in the program. The clinical simulation course and clinical rotation courses require time off campus in clinical settings. 

To estimate the cost of the program, please see the link to the right for the most up today Indiana State University credit hour pricing.  Most online courses also have a small distance education fee, and each semester there is a program fee of $1600 to cover general costs of the program including student research, clinical rotations, honoraria, conference registrations, a portion of student travel etc. 

Course Schedule

Fall of the 1st Year (credit hours) - On Campus                                                                                       

  • COMM614- Seminar in Communication (3)                                           
  • BIO685-Foundations in Genetic Counseling (2)                       
  • BIO586-Human Genetics (3)                                                               
  • BIO688-Diagnostic Genetics (4)                                                      
  • BIO561-Embryology (3)

Spring of the 1st Year - On Campus

  • COMM604-Multicultural Counseling (3)
  • BIO685-Foundations in Genetic Counseling (2)
  • BIO506-Cancer Genetics (4)
  • BIO689-Clinical Simulations (2)
  • BIO691-Research in Biology (3)
  • BIO681-(online) Medical Genetics I (3)   

Summer - Fully virtual

  • PHIL525- (online) Ethics of Genome Science and Genetic Counseling (3)
  • BIO687-(online) Cytogenetics (3)
  • BIO689- Off site Clinical Rotations (2)

Fall of the 2nd Year   - Fully virtual                                                                                     

  • BIO581-(online) Genome Science (3)                                                            
  • BIO682- (online) Medical Genetics II (3)                                   
  • BIO683-(online) Human Population Genetics (3)
  • BIO689-Off Site Clinical Rotations (2)                                                                          

Spring of the 2nd Year - Fully virtual

  • PSY566-(online) Human Lifespan Development (3)
  • BIO692 -(online) Research (3)
  • BIO689-Off Site Clinical Rotation (2)  
  • BIO692 - (online) Research in Biology (3)

Course Descriptions:

BIO685 – Foundations in Genetic Counseling: Introduce students to the field of genetic counseling and the basic principles of the profession.  Topics will include the history of the profession, scope of practice, code of ethics, constructing an overall genetic counseling session, and public policy issues related to genetic counseling.  This course spans the entire first year of the program (fall and spring semesters).  Instructor – Megan Tucker, MS, CGC

BIO687 – Clinical Cytogenetics: This course is designed to expand the knowledge base of masters students in the field of clinical human genetics.  The course will emphasize the clinically relevant genetic differences observed in humans and how these genetic differences relate to disease.  Specifically, the class will explore the relationship between chromosomal abnormalities and human disorders including chromosomal anomalies, rearrangements, uniparental disomy, and epigenetics.  Topics such as nomenclature and current cytogenetic laboratory methods will be discussed. Instructor – Emily Swan, CGC

BIO507 – Cancer Genetics: Briefly addresses the theory, history, techniques, and application of cell culture as it relates to cancer genetics.  The course will also provide students with the opportunity to learn laboratory techniques and methodologies as they apply to cancer genetics. Students will discuss metastatic tissue growth and overall cancer genetics.  The combination of laboratory and lecture will provide a unique environment to truly understand and work with both cells and clinical laboratory results.  Instructor – Emily Swan, CGC

BIO688 – Diagnostic Genetics: The course will emphasize the diagnostic principles and methods essential to the clinical applications of genetic analysis.  This course will provide the critical foundation of understanding necessary for defining and explaining complex genetic results to patients. Students will have an opportunity to practice sequencing laboratory techniques to understand the methodology behind it to enhance their ability to discuss the results.  Instructor – Emily Swan, CGC

BIO581 – Genome Science: Provides a foundation in the cellular and molecular basis of inheritance using a genome-scale perspective. In addition, it will discuss the practical impact of genomic testing within the scope of genetic counseling. Instructor – Shaad Ahmad, PhD

BIO561 – Embryology: Address in detail normal and abnormal human development and how it relates to genetic syndromes/conditions.  Instructor – Shaad Ahmad, PhD

BIO681 and BIO682– Medical Genetics I and II: Address genetic aspects of human disease including the etiology of genetic conditions, dysmorphology, importance of genetics in clinical medicine, and basics of genetic screening, testing, and treatment. This will address a wide variety of genetic conditions. Instructor - Julie Fleischer, MD

BIO586 – Human Genetics: This course is designed to introduce students to human genetics.  All of the basic principles of genetics will be applied to obtain a greater understanding of the role of genetic mutation in disease.  Topics include mitosis/meiosis, common genetic disorders and etiologies, epigenetics, pharmacogenetics, and biochemical genetics. Instructor – Daniela Iacoboni, CGC

BIO683-Population Genetics: Population genetics examines the frequencies and distributions of alleles, genotypes, and haplotypes to understand the forces that affect genetic variation.  This course introduces students to the Hardy-Weinberg Equilibrium and Bayesian Theorem as well as segregation and linkage analysis to assess risk for genetic disorders.  Instructor – Megan Tucker, CGC

COMM614 – Seminar in Communication: Special topics in communication - Addresses the philosophies, theories, principles, and procedures of counseling.  It includes the use of audio and videotaped counseling interviews, role playing, and case studies.  Instructor – Malynnda Johnson, PhD

COMM604 – Cross Cultural Communication: The course examines cultural differences in communicative practices (verbal, embodied) across multiple contexts and how we understand those practices to reflect culture. Students also explore the resulting possibilities for misunderstandings and conflicts and how they may be mediated.  Students engage diverse discourses including research texts, social media images, advertisements, media programs and other sites of public communication.  Discussions of culture require interrogation of subjects such as politics, power, and identity (race, class, gender, sexuality, religion).  Students will conduct independent ethnographic research.  The class provides a theoretical and practical knowledge that inform an ongoing critical awareness of the complexity of culture and communication. – Malynnda Johnson, PhD

PSY566 – Development through the Lifespan: Provide students with an understanding of genetic disorders as they affect overall development after birth.  Students will develop an understanding of the variation and parallels between processes of physical development and behavioral development. Instructor – Michelle Abraham, PhD

PHIL525-Bioethics of Genomic Science: Based on the perspective that ethics should provide guidance for social practice, the advances in genetics require a sustained and systematic examination in relation to the meaning of disability, accounts of distributive justice, equality in opportunity and the concept of human nature. After acquiring a basic understanding of principles commonly used in bioethics, students will consider such questions as: Should genes for human diseases be patented?  Should information from genetic testing be available to employers and insurers? Should parents always be told of genetic testing availability?  This course will examine what impact genetic knowledge could have on individuals’ lives and futures. Instructor – Michael Deem, PhD

PSCI525-Public Policy Implications of Genome Science: Technology utilizing genomics and genetics has long been recognized as having the power to improve quality of life around the globe, as well as create massive destruction in the wrong hands. The question that scientists, medical professionals, business people, ethicists, and policy makers must contend with is how do we govern this technology to emphasize the benefits and reduce the level of risk? Drawing from legislation, textbooks, peer-reviewed research, and media reports, we will take an historical view of these issues and how they have evolved with the technology.  Instructor - Nathan Myers, PhD 

The current

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